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FiveFingerDiscount.com?

michael posted more than 12 years ago | from the liquid-assets dept.

News 418

phillippaxton writes: "According to this link, dot-bomb victims are creating their own severance packages, no doubt walking away with the typical office tchotchkes (staplers, tape dispensers, etc.) but also big ticket items such as plush furniture, copiers, high-powered network servers, etc. One anecdote cites someone who lifted $445,549 of equipment, then tried to sell it on eBay as a company liquidating their assets." On the other hand, the fact that it's illegal to stiff your employees out of wages due them, even in a bankruptcy, isn't mentioned in the article...

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

A Story of Courage (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2346078)

Loyal readers of Slashdot, being concerned citizens of the world, no doubt remember the recent news story of the inspiring and courageous Erik Weihenmayer, a blind man who climbed the world's tallest peak, Mt. Everest. Additional recent stories of courage overcoming adversity include one two years ago when eleven blind climbers ascended Mt. Kilimanjaro. A few months ago the "Anything is Possible" expedition climbed Everest featuring a climber with only one leg and a Sherpa with only one arm. And just last week, a mountaineer with both legs missing ascended to the top of Mt. Rainier in Washington.

But these are not the only stories of bravery, courage and determination in the fact of obstacles both internal and external that the world of differently-abled mountaineering brings to us. Since the controlling board of this site is concerned that most of its content is depressing, anti-life-affirming drivel, we bring you the following "can-do" story. While not technically mountaineering, the story of Colby Nickles' amazing feat does involve mountains and a heart-breakingly sad though ultimately inspiring physical handicap.

MAN WITH ABNORMALLY SMALL ANUS INSERTS KILIMANJARO

When Colby Nickles was born, no one would have ever dreamed that he would one day become a world-famous anal inserter. "His butthole was the same size as his peehole," his father recalls. "The doctors said he'd be crapping string his entire life."

One can imagine how much it must have boggled Nickles' family and friends when he told them that he wanted to be a professional anal inserter.

"I remember being in third grade, and we went around the room with all the kids saying what they wanted to be when they grew up. I didn't hesitate for a second, I said I wanted to be the best anal inserter that had ever lived," Colby recalls. "The kids laughed, and the teacher said, 'Everyone should have a dream, but we have to accept the limitations God has placed on us. No one with such an abnormally tiny anus as yours could ever become a professional in that field. How about firefighting?' But I was determined that someday I would insert very large objects in my anus."

Soon afterwards a gym teacher, Mr. Binks, learned of Nickles' passion and introduced him to the sport of "mountanaling," often just called "manaling." "At the time, the sport was just starting," Binks explained. "At the time, most anal inserters were just doing it at home or in dingy clubs for drinks and tips, but this got the activity out into the open and made it a sport. It separated the men from the boys. Anyone can shove a pencil sharpener or a gasoline can up their ass, but this takes real willpower and determination." As for Nickles' congenital tiny anus, Binks admits he was skeptical. "I told him all about mountanaling and his eyes just lit up. Like everyone, I was familiar with his disability, but when he looked at me and said he was going to do this thing, I saw that look in his eyes and thought, 'Holy shit, this kid is going to shove a mountain up his ass!'"

Nickles pursued his passion slowly at first. "I would sit around with friends shoving things in my anus just like all the other kids were doing. But when they would get tired and sore and go home, I'd keep right at it, night after night, day after day. I never gave up." His parents, concerned over his obsessive inserting and their fear that he would never realize his dream because of his disability, kept their fears to themselves. "We wanted him to do whatever he wanted with his life," says his mother, Alma Nickles. "He was always sensitive about his Lilliputian poop-chute. The other kids would tease him, you know how awful kids are, and he would tell him that he would do things with his anus they could only dream of."

Nickles' started slowly in manaling, gradually from small atolls to hills to buttes ("Yeah, everyone made the obvious joke when I was doing that, but I kept laughing even after the thousandth time 'cause I knew people meant well") and finally to his first classified mountain, seven thousand foot Terry Peak in South Dakota's Black Hills. "I did it in the summer, so there weren't any skiers, but the chairlifts provided for some interesting complications, but it was a great insertion, I'll never forget it." Nickles moved quickly to top-class peaks like Oregon's Mount Hood, popular for the smoothness of its slopes.

Nickles' recent conquest of Kilimanjaro made headlines around the world, despite the fact that pre-insertion media was subdued because of the Tanzinian's government strenuous opposition to the event. "Most governments on all levels of jurisdiction are opposed to the sport because they believe it deters tourism and degrades the public health," says Stanton Witchik, a lawyer who represents mountanalers on obscenity charges. "But the facts show that these events increase tourism. People get excited about looking at a mountain and thinking, 'Some guy shoved that up his butt!'"

While there are other larger mountains in the world, Kilimanjaro's shape made it the ultimate feat for Nickles. "You look at it, it just slopes out, out, out! But you can't let the mountain beat you. You stay loose up here," he said, pointing to his head, "you'll stay loose down there." Kilimanjaro is a feat even for experienced mountanalers, and many thought that Nickles wouldn't get past the ice cap, but on July 2, 2001, Nickles made history, inserting Kilimanjaro in a record 12 hours and 14 minutes.

"I know my disability will get the attention, but I am first and foremost a man who anally inserts mountains," he said proudly, "and only secondly a man with a unnaturally small anus."

update (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2346202)

laden betters record.
kilmajaro again-- sideways.

Re:A Story of Courage (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2346243)

[Humming of 'Battle Hymn of the Republic' in background]
A truly inspiring story! A reminder that each of us is capable of great things, regardless of the handicaps placed in our way by God. Congratulations on achieving the *American* Dream (tm)!

awww man (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2346079)

The first post has lost all it's fun with this new no-numbered comment shit :(

Re:awww man (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2346129)

Time to return to old school trolling then.

Boss's car? (2)

macdaddy (38372) | more than 12 years ago | (#2346080)

Possibly a Caddy SUV. 'nough said. :)

Re:Boss's car? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2346214)

"I used to have a cool sig but people spent more time replying to it than they did my comments, so this is my"

Have you considered that this may be because your comments are so lame?

Listen to... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2346082)

Funky Dory!

va linux (-1)

trollercoaster (250101) | more than 12 years ago | (#2346089)


What is the slash crew gonna take from VA Linux when it goes belly up (should be any day now)? maybe the /. PT car thing?

Re:va linux (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2346097)

Naah, would you to try and sell such an ugly albatross?

Sure (-1)

CmdrTaco on (468152) | more than 12 years ago | (#2346116)

Scrap iron, aluminum, and the tires make great swings for kids.

Damn. (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 12 years ago | (#2346090)

I new i should have turned the negotiation down :/

The nerve of these geeks... (3, Funny)

Master_Ruthless (89957) | more than 12 years ago | (#2346099)

"Ex-employees thought they were entitled to it,"

Yeah, heaven forbid that these geeks, after putting in 80 hour weeks, would feel they're entitled to anything other than an asskick out the door- far more important that some grasping VC gets .04% of his bad investment back after the fire sale...

Re:The nerve of these geeks... (4, Insightful)

Lizard_King (149713) | more than 12 years ago | (#2346222)

heaven forbid that these geeks, after putting in 80 hour weeks, would feel they're entitled to anything other than an asskick out the door

A zealous opinion indeed. In fact, when I first read the article, I wholeheartedly agreed with you. Once I got over the emotional charge and saw the situation from a rational perspective it became very simple: These employees don't own this equipment, period. This is the only conceivable arguement. You have to remember that these geeks are getting paid for their 80 hour weeks. They are not entitled to the equipment that their employers paid for.

Re:The nerve of these geeks... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2346228)

Heaven forbid that geeks would actually understand that a STUPID FREAKING SOCK PUPPET would not help a company sell pet food over the Internet. Each one of these geeks deserved to have their butts kicked to the curb for the GREED in their hearts thinking that a dot-com with a dumbass business plan was going to put them on easy street. They are now demostrating it as they leave by taking what is not theirs.

Every dot-commer that is being laid off deserves it. Just because your are brilliant, can say every line from Star Trek:TOS and have poor social skills should not prevent you from having common sense. You entered a high risk field and now you are taking your lumps. But you can't take it like a real man, no, you have to steal on your way out. I hope the cops track down each and everyone of these GREEDY LITTLE PIMPLE FACED GEEKS and throws them in jailed so they really know what it feels like to be screwed over.

As a "geek" that stayed with a non-dot-com company during the boom, I must say I am so satisfied watching the bodies dropping like flies in the dot-com world and they are calling me up for jobs. "Yes, hey Brian, long time no talk. You need a job? Aren't you supposed to be rich by now? Oh, your stock options didn't come through. Aw, too bad. Sorry because of the greedy bastards in the dot-com world, the economy is the way it is, I don't have anything for you."

Re:The nerve of these geeks... (1)

CS_Snapple (469132) | more than 12 years ago | (#2346241)

Heh, does this remind you of the movie Office Space? They were also getting hosed by their company and just wanted a little payback. Still illegal, though.

Time to get a job as a construction worker.

Re:The nerve of these geeks... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2346269)

So when does the barbarism begin over there? Its been a week now and the
only thing bush (The Little Cheerleader F_gget) has done besides
reinforce the fact that he's a Bastard with every sound bite is to
position his little tin soldiers.

Re:The nerve of these geeks... (3, Interesting)

Alien54 (180860) | more than 12 years ago | (#2346312)

Yeah, heaven forbid that these geeks, after putting in 80 hour weeks, would feel they're entitled to anything other than an asskick out the door- far more important that some grasping VC gets .04% of his bad investment back after the fire sale...

There was that article on F**cked Company and here on Slash about the guy who sent out the memo detailing his rage at people who were only putting in 40 hrs a week on the job. (can't find the link quickly, but I remember it)

How many weeks can you run at 80+ hourd a week before you start to burn out? even if you have been sold on that dream of the company going big?

Reminds me of one gal I know who was hired at a company at big bucks, and went max out for the first month or so. When she cut back to more human levels of effort, people had gotten used to her level of production, and had started to depend on it. This was not a good thing.

So some companies can also get used to people producing at maxed out levels of production. This is not a good thing.

So I can understand people making the justifications they do. But it was sort of a trap of the spirit, baited with greed. Once you are in the trap, it is hard to find a way out, even if you wanted to.

Insurance companies (2, Insightful)

adaking (158188) | more than 12 years ago | (#2346102)

It sounds like the insurance companies are as bad as the people stealing the stuff to begin with. It's not theft if your employees steal from you?

If anyone knows where I can get an Aeron cheap though, let me know... ;)

Burn the Muslims. Fry Islam. Nuke the Ragheads. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2346104)

``Justice!'' - The dead cry out from their graves:
  1. Kill all Muslims.
  2. Kill all Mohammedans.
  3. Kill all Arabs.
  4. Kill all Towel Heads.
  5. Kill all Camel Jockeys.
  6. Kill all Dune Coons.
  7. Kill all Islam.
  8. Nuke their countries to hell.
  9. Nuke them again.
  10. Death to Islam.

I piss on Mecca. I wipe my ass with the Koran. I spit upon Mohammed.

FiveFinger Discount.com (1)

beebware (149208) | more than 12 years ago | (#2346106)

For a moment, I thought it was the 'other' five finger style of things...

Re:FiveFinger Discount.com (-1)

CmdrTaco on (468152) | more than 12 years ago | (#2346126)

Oh you were thinking of FiveFingerDisCunt.com... A case where one letter makes all the difference in the world. But just ask bin Ladens wife about it. She fits 5 fingers in her cunt quite easily. The dirty whore.

Re:FiveFinger Discount.com (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2346165)

A very convincing nick, "CmdrTaco on". Clever little troll. ;)

Caught in the act (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2346107)

When a startup that my company was financing went under, my department laid claim to the computers. So two guys from here went over there and began loading up the truck. During their last run they put the remaining monitors on those nice chairs (what are they called? aeron?) and wheeled the whole thing out to the truck. When they walked back in to say "All set, we're taking off" the beancounter in charge of the operation said "You're gonna bring back those chairs, right?" D'oh.

Sign of the times. (3, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 12 years ago | (#2346112)

First off while it's wrong to stiff your employees, stealing equipment is just plain thievery. The people that do this are just untrustworthy thieves and the company should have done a better background check to begin with. I can see someone swiping a pen or a blank CD that they burned at work or even postage on the postage machine. These little things are expected by management in the day to day operation. But walking off with a load balancer or ML530 server, or color laser printer? Unbelieveable.

Re:Sign of the times. (1)

oogoody (302342) | more than 12 years ago | (#2346125)

Stiffing your employees is thievery of kind
far worse than stealing equipment. Your values
are highly suspect if you value equipment that
will get liquidated later over the lives of
real people.
Unbelieveable.

Re:Sign of the times. (2)

unformed (225214) | more than 12 years ago | (#2346135)

Yes, it's illegal. But when you're a parent on a fixed budget trying to take care of your kids, and your company decides not to pay you for your last two weeks of work, what do you do? Do you sit there and take it up the ass? Or do you figure out a way to make money?

I'm sorry, but if a company fucked me over by not giving me my paycheck, and not offering an explanation, things are either going to start disappearing from the office, or servers and networks are going to begin to go down, consistently.

First you turn the other cheek, if they continue, then it's an eye for an eye; that's just how the world turns.

Re:Sign of the times. (2)

Erasmus Darwin (183180) | more than 12 years ago | (#2346198)

"I'm sorry, but if a company fucked me over by not giving me my paycheck, and not offering an explanation, things are either going to start disappearing from the office,"

However, if the company's going under anyway, then all you're really doing is stealing for the company's other creditors (including the other employees), rather than from the company itself. Also, I suggest you RTFA with regard to the leasing company issue -- in many cases, you're just stealing from the company that leased the item to your company.

Re:Sign of the times. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2346206)

I'm sorry, but if you have a family and don't have some cache that would last you a few months, you are officially a fuckwit and deserve to be fucked in the ass by afghans all night long. Oh, and I should also mention that no, you are not allowed to steal any more than any other citizen.

Re:Sign of the times. (2)

NetJunkie (56134) | more than 12 years ago | (#2346203)

Spoken like someone that has never been screwed out of a month's pay....or more.

Getting wages owed you (4, Interesting)

Evro (18923) | more than 12 years ago | (#2346114)

the fact that it's illegal to stiff your employees out of wages due them, even in a bankruptcy, isn't mentioned in the article...

I have been a victim of this, and am owed approximately $7500 by my former employer, who one day decided not to pay anyone (not lay us off, just not pay us; then offered no explanation for two weeks). Does anybody know what recourse there is for people like me to get the money owed them? And what to do if the corporation for which you worked is dissolved? Can you go after the assets of the CEO and/or other executives? How? Through the Department of Labor (this is New York state) or through a private attorney? What has worked for people in the past?

Re:Getting wages owed you (1)

graybeard (114823) | more than 12 years ago | (#2346178)

You can move to the front of the line for $4000 of your wages, so you'll have a better chance of getting at least something. For the balance, you are thrown in with the other chumps who loaned your employer money. Read about it here [kensington-ressler.com] .

Interesting. (1)

dave-fu (86011) | more than 12 years ago | (#2346290)

I'd always been told that employees had priority over all other owed parties for their unpaid wages and PTO. Nice that they put a cap on that because people being out of money obviously isn't as important as entities out of money, right?

Re:Getting wages owed you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2346180)

I went through this for a similiar amount.

Department of labor will do a great job if they can. They are tough. Carefully review your employment agreement. Mine had a clause stating all disputes would be resolved by binding arbitration. This means that Dept of Labor does not have jurisdiction.

Company I worked for did an employee review on me two months after I quit, saying my work was not up to par. Since the losing party pays for arbitration, I decided not to chance it.

Re:Getting wages owed you (1)

Evro (18923) | more than 12 years ago | (#2346299)

I don't think I even had an employment agreement. Employer even refused to sign a contract he had me draw up. They emailed me what they claimed was a confidentiality agreement which I never even opened, much less signed. The only paperwork I filled out was the usual tax stuff that all employers have to give you. So I don't know where that puts me.

Re:Getting wages owed you (4, Insightful)

tmark (230091) | more than 12 years ago | (#2346185)

Does anybody know what recourse there is for people like me to get the money owed them?

You go after them in bankruptcy court. Michael's intimation that somehow the employees' theivery is justified in these situations is just so stupid it makes me sick.

As for whether or not you can go after the assets of the CEOs, I believe you cannot. IANAL, but as I understood it companies are structured to protect the shareholders and executives from the creditors of the company. Now, if some of them were personally negligent, this might be different, but problems arising from their actions as executives of the company are probably not actionable.

Re:Getting wages owed you (2)

sandidge (150265) | more than 12 years ago | (#2346200)

Michael's intimation that somehow the employees' theivery is justified in these situations is just so stupid it makes me sick.

Yet, the fact that the companies had the employees work basically for free without, you know, saying "Hey, it's highly unlikely that you'll ever see the pay for that" doesn't make you sick at all?

Re:Getting wages owed you (3)

tmark (230091) | more than 12 years ago | (#2346260)

Yet, the fact that the companies had the employees work basically for free without, you know, saying "Hey, it's highly unlikely that you'll ever see the pay for that" doesn't make you sick at all?


It doesn't make me sick. I sympathize with the employees, and they should do all they can *within the law* to seek remedy, but this is the way business works. *Individuals* declare bankruptcy all the time, leaving their creditors out to dry; does that make you sick ? Would you argue it was OK for the creditors to sneak into their house and steal the individual's belongings ?

When I worked for a dot-com-wannabe years ago, I had a problem with a pay check that kept bouncing. For a few days management was explaining this as being due to various sundry problems that were all, of course, the bank's fault. Finally I walked into the CEO's office and told him that I needed my money and that if I didn't receive it there would be a problem. We both understood this to mean I would not work anymore until I was paid what I was owed. I received a personal check the next day. My point is, I can't feel *too much* sympathy for employees who let their company get too far in arrears.


And as for your own justification of the theivery, I have a hard time imagining that any of these employees were *quite* stupid enough to be owed so much money that they could 'justify' stealing some of the larger-ticket items described in the article.

Re:Getting wages owed you (2)

sandidge (150265) | more than 12 years ago | (#2346294)

My point is, I can't feel *too much* sympathy for employees who let their company get too far in arrears.

In the majority of cases I've heard of, the employees who are getting the kick in the ass of no pay aren't the ones making the half-assed command decisions that put the company in the toliet in the first place.

And as for your own justification of the theivery

Uh... where in my previous post did I justify the theivery as the "right" thing to do? I don't think that it's morally or legally the right thing to do, but to paraphrase Chris Rock "I'm not saying they should of stole that stuff.... but I understand!"

Re:Getting wages owed you (2, Informative)

philburt (30910) | more than 12 years ago | (#2346255)

tmark said:
------------
as I understood it companies are structured to protect the shareholders and executives from the creditors of the company
------------
This is not true. The personal assets of the executives are protected unless they were used as collateral to secure loans. Shareholders get no protection - their entire investment is at risk. Creditors get paid first, then owners. Often a bank will put in executive compensation restrictions when making a small business loan specifically to prevent an owner from bleeding a company dry. If the company goes into bankrupcy court and you are an employee that gets paid AFTER working (you are in the "wages payable" ballance sheet item), you should be entitled to the same "pennies on the dollar" that the other creditors get.

Re:Getting wages owed you (2)

tmark (230091) | more than 12 years ago | (#2346267)

as I understood it companies are structured to protect the shareholders and executives from the creditors of the company

Sorry, what I meant was that the shareholders and executives were protected from legal action by the creditors, such as I imagined the original poster to be seeking. i.e., the executives and shareholders are not *personally* liable for any debt undertaken by the company and could not be sued.

Re:Getting wages owed you (0)

ekephart (256467) | more than 12 years ago | (#2346236)

I can't speak for New York but here in Texas the Texas Workforce Commission oversees employee claims. I had to file a smaller claim (few hundred dollars) once against an employer that refused to pay me part of my last check, it was even a friendly departure, proper notice and all. I must say I was surprised; not only were the people with the TWC informative but they were friendly and prompt. I imagine the Department of Labor or the Office of NY Attorney General would be happy to inform you if you call them.

islam is undefeatable (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2346117)

it's the fastest growing religion in the world

islam is dead (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2346154)

NukDonalds -- 1 billion burned: ``Would you like your fried raghead original recipe or extra cripsy?''

Re:islam is undefeatable (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2346186)

more details at goatse

i never actually took that much (3, Funny)

unformed (225214) | more than 12 years ago | (#2346120)

But some things I did take:
Legit sealed copies of Windows 98, Office 2000, etc, which I could use to somewhat legitimize my computer. (at the time)
A fire extinguisher.
Lots of food.
T-shirts.
Half of a video camera. (The building had the eyepiece of an old Beta video camera stuck into the wall to make it look like a security camera. Obviously it wasn't working)
Lots of notebooks, papers, etc, for school.

And, I think that was it....the company never went out of business though; i just took it because no one was using it ;)

Re:i never actually took that much (2, Funny)

datatrash (522537) | more than 12 years ago | (#2346175)

I must admit I never took that much either. Besides the standards, your pens, mouse, coffee, and postage, I had to go in late at night and remove the overhead screen from the meeting room as at the company xmass party a friend who I invited, a librarian (and we all know how they can be prrrrrrrrrr....) got wasted and thinking she was writing on a dry erase board actually scribbled "corporate pigs" on the overhead. Suffice to say someone blamed the mysteriously missing screen on a departed salesperson.

If you need to verify this story you can check the garbage dumps in Boston)

Re:i never actually took that much (3, Funny)

jarty (165599) | more than 12 years ago | (#2346177)

"I did take...A fire extinguisher...i just took it because no one was using it"
Yeah. Right. I think they are commonly used in the case of a fire, i.e. not often - be sure to take the life jackets next time you're on a ferry, and remove the air-bag from your friend's car, as they are probably 'not in use either'.

two wrongs (4, Insightful)

regexp (302904) | more than 12 years ago | (#2346123)

On the other hand, the fact that it's illegal to stiff your employees out of wages due them, even in a bankruptcy, isn't mentioned in the article...

If (ex-)employees have a legitimate grievance with their employers, they can bring them to court. If they win, they get paid, and if they don't, they can chalk it up to misfortune and move on. It's ludicrous to suggest that getting stiffed out of wages goes anywhere toward justifying theft.

Re:two wrongs (1)

oogoody (302342) | more than 12 years ago | (#2346134)

Why do you owe anyone a legal response when they
clearly didn't treat you similarly? Sounds like
a sucker to me.

Re:two wrongs (2)

sandidge (150265) | more than 12 years ago | (#2346144)

they can chalk it up to misfortune and move on

And chalk up some legal fees if you don't have one of those "If I don't win the case, you don't pay me" lawyers.

Re:two wrongs (1)

tekniklr (319275) | more than 12 years ago | (#2346215)

And chalk up some legal fees if you don't have one of those "If I don't win the case, you don't pay me" lawyers.

Not to mention that even if you win, the company can't pay you if they don't have the money themselves. You would actually end up with alot less than you started with!

There's no point in sueing someone if they don't have any money! Which, assuming they went bankrupt, they don't. :)

Re:two wrongs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2346235)

In other countries I could mention, employees are preferential creditors. That means that before anyone else gets anything they get paid as much of their salary as is possible. It seems fucked up to me to have it any other way.

Re:two wrongs (1)

sandidge (150265) | more than 12 years ago | (#2346272)

Welcome to America: A nation for the corporation, of the corporation and by the corporation.

Re:two wrongs (1)

NineNine (235196) | more than 12 years ago | (#2346310)

And even if you CAN recover your money (and recovering 100% of it is not likely), you generally end up oweing the lawyer 33%, which is fairly standard for a case like this. So the absolute BEST case scenario is you walk away with 66% of what they owe you in back pay.

Re:two wrongs (2)

DaveHowe (51510) | more than 12 years ago | (#2346276)

This has a number of sides
It is pretty awkward to sue a company that has just gone down the pan, owing you a month or more back wages.... and if you wait until the case comes to court, you will almost certainly win - against a company that has already sold all assets and handed over the money to the secured creditors (who aren't going to hand any back)
however, in some cases the assets are never owned by the company that has just gone under - a number of "asset loans" are just that - loans of the assets (for a nominal $1 rent a year and a stack of shares) in which case they aren't stealing from the dot-comm, but from the rental company (and of course, even if the dot com got real money, it may have rented, rather than bought, major assets such as servers.

Re:two wrongs (1, Offtopic)

partingshot (156813) | more than 12 years ago | (#2346284)

> If they win, they get paid

How naive.

poo? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2346132)

ass!

If the company is so broke... (5, Interesting)

Johnny5000 (451029) | more than 12 years ago | (#2346136)

If they company is too broke to pay the employee wages, then they should be liquidating the equipment themselves, and using it to pay the employees. Or at least find a place for the money to come from. The workers have to eat. I've got no problem with someone taking matters into their own hands if the employer isnt paying them.

Reminds me of a story:

There was this coffeeshop where the owner was really bad at paying the employees on time. So the employees started taking their wages out of the register, and leave a note about how much they took.

Pretty soon they were always paid on time.

The moral of the story: if you want loyal employees, dont treat them like shit. And if you treat them like shit, dont be surprised when little acts of sabotage start happening.

-J5K

Why blame myself for the mistakes of others? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2346139)

They may have difficulty blaming themselves when they get laid off, so they direct their anguish at the company.

Uh, hello? If a company goes bankrupt (usually due to a crappy business model or incompetent management), why should the guy at the bottom (secretary, router tech, janitor) blame themselves?

I'd say the 80/20 rule holds true here - 20% of the employees are responsible for 80% of the business. If the 20% aren't doing their jobs, then the remaining 80% have a right to be upset with them. After all, the company does have a responsibility to operate in the best interests of all employees, not just the 20% that form the upper management.

Now, of course, stealing servers, routers and laptops is just wrong, but perhaps this should serve as a wake-up call to the management - it's time to start treating your employees right!

Re:Why blame myself for the mistakes of others? (2)

Rocketboy (32971) | more than 12 years ago | (#2346254)

Employees across the country are feeling disenfranchised. They may have difficulty blaming themselves when they get laid off...


Now we hit the crux of the matter: (PHB) We're out of business. Sorry, no paycheck or severance, just go home. (Employee) Oh, God: I'm sorry, sir. I knew I should have bought more widgets, but the garage is already full and little Johnnie can't even get into his bedroom any more. *sob* (PHB) Damned whiner! Get out of my way, peasant! Whoever hired you is fired!

just laid off employees? (1)

2MuchC0ffeeMan (201987) | more than 12 years ago | (#2346140)

well, what about employees that start other companies? i mean, has anyone ever worked for a company, and had their training manual be from another .com, or another bank, etc?

it's just funny to see other people's letter heads on our stuff....

Psssst! Hey buddy.... (4, Funny)

spike666 (170947) | more than 12 years ago | (#2346146)

... Wanna Herman Miller Aeron Chair?

Cheap! only $400 and barely used... only the sweat of 3 dot com geeks on it...

Act like you own the company (1)

richie2000 (159732) | more than 12 years ago | (#2346148)

This all reminds me of that old Dilbert strip when Wally swipes Dilbert's 17" monitor because he (Wally) had never used it. :-)

I'm currently holding on to a full PIII@550 server system from a bankrupted company. The liquidator knows it exists but it's more or less buried in the inventory list. If he asks for it, I'll see if I can buy it, cheap. If he doesn't ask, I won't remind him.

Two wrongs doesn't make a right, but two Wrights made an airplane.

Re:Act like you own the company (1)

Tarpan (114764) | more than 12 years ago | (#2346204)

If he doesn't ask, I won't remind him.

Hopefully he's not a regular /. reader ;)

There is a MUCH simpler way to do this. (2, Funny)

AtariDatacenter (31657) | more than 12 years ago | (#2346150)

You don't swipe items when the company has given you the boot. They'll have their eyes on you big time. What you do is you swipe items when you're pissed off at your company for treating you badly. (IE: Hurray! Everyone gets a 10% pay cut!)

Best way to do this? Very simple. Use your company's shipping and receiving department. That's what they're there for. From you desk, sell office items on eBay. When it comes time to deliver the goods, box it up... at work... and give it to your shipping department (who, no doubt, will want to FedEx, UPS, or otherwise mail it with no later than two day delivery). Make the company foot the bill for getting rid of their own items.

This message is in jest. Please DON'T try this, gentle SysAdmins. ;)

Make sense. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2346216)

Have you ever tried moving a Sun Ultra Enterprise 4500 to your CUBICLE, yet alone, out the DOOR? For something so SMALL, that thing feels like it is made out of lead.

Re:Make sense. (1)

telstar (236404) | more than 12 years ago | (#2346246)

That's why you hire the shipping company and bill that to your company as well! Obviously!

Shocking! (0, Flamebait)

junkpunch (514143) | more than 12 years ago | (#2346159)

Readers on /. trying to justify theft! Wow, that is really shocking.

Oh, wait...no it's not.

The cheek (1)

osiris (30004) | more than 12 years ago | (#2346161)

"They may have difficulty blaming themselves when they get laid off, so they direct their anguish at the company."


So its the employees fault that the company pissed all their money up the wall during the dot com boom and produced nothing but vapourware? I think not, the cheek of actually blaming the employees for going bankcrupt like that.

Im sure they would have preferred to have their jobs myself.

Gettting stiffed by the boss (3, Interesting)

Kagato (116051) | more than 12 years ago | (#2346162)

Slashdot should include "IANAL" in the article. While there are several state and federal laws to "protect" workers from these types of situations there isn't much in the area of enforcement. In a perfect world the employer is required to tell the staff that they are going to file papers when they decided to draft them. Not after the file. In practice the employees usually find out when they go do work and find a notice pasted to a locked door.

IANAL

Simple reasoning. (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2346163)

I am posting this anonymously for obvious reasons.

The company I work for at the moment is going through chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, before I started they had a history of missing paychecks which many feel will never be payed.

They have not missed any of my paychecks, however they have provided a few hundred dollars worth of equipment so I can work from home instead of relocating to them.

And if I do end up being owed money I may very well choose to take, AS PAYMENT, that equipment, at whatever the market prices are for those parts new at the time (which seems more then fair).

Some may consider that theft, but I honestly can't see how, IF you are honest about it and actually tell the company that you are taking said assets instead of cash if they don't want to pay you.

I do have to wonder how many companys turn around and report such as theft though.

A programmer, who hopes for the best but keeps reality in mind.

Re:Simple reasoning. (2, Insightful)

streetlawyer (169828) | more than 12 years ago | (#2346256)

Some may consider that theft, but I honestly can't see how

Consider the other creditors (including other employees) of the bankrupt company, who would otherwise share in the potential value of those assets.

Lawyer: not quite (4, Informative)

hawk (1151) | more than 12 years ago | (#2346170)

I am a lawyser, but this is not legal advice. If you need legal advice, contact an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.


>On the other hand, the fact that it's illegal to stiff
>your employees out of wages due them, even in a bankruptcy, isn't
>mentioned in the article...


Uhh, no. That's not the law. There is certainly a breach of contract when an employee does not get paid, but in the absence of prior intent not to pay, it's generally not a crime.


IN bankruptcy, it's a special set of rules. Employee wages up to a fixed amount (I forget the current number) are a priority claim; they get paid before the regular debts (but only to that amount). One of two things happen: 1) they all get paid, or 2) the "self help" took away assets that would have been used to pay all employees.


Walking off with the expensive stuff could solve the former employee's food and housing nees for a couple of years, though . . .


hawk, esq.

Re:Lawyer: not quite (1)

tekniklr (319275) | more than 12 years ago | (#2346190)

Unless this is a federal law, this stuff would vary from state to state though. So you may both be correct- just not for the same place. (IANAL)

Re:Lawyer: not quite (3, Informative)

hawk (1151) | more than 12 years ago | (#2346232)

>Unless this is a federal law, this stuff would vary from state to
>state though. So you may both be correct- just not for the same place.
>(IANAL)


Bankruptcy is federal.


The criminal aspect of state law will not very all that much among states (you really couldn't cross the intent line I draw above and pass constitutional muster . . .), but civil responses will vary. I'd be shocked, though, to find a state in which wandering off with the goodies is legal . . .


hawk, esq.

Re:Lawyer: not quite (1)

jallen02 (124384) | more than 12 years ago | (#2346218)

Walking off with the expensive stuff could solve the former employee's food and housing nees for a couple of years, though . . . Implying that the insurance covers the "self help" loss?

Jeremy

Re:Lawyer: not quite (4, Funny)

hawk (1151) | more than 12 years ago | (#2346308)

>Implying that the insurance covers the "self help" loss?


oh, no. Implying that the self-helper gets three squares a day and an opportunity to do laundry for the guy with the most cigarettes . . .


:)
hawk

exaggerated losses (2, Funny)

uucp (459917) | more than 12 years ago | (#2346188)

used his security clearance to steal $445,549 worth of computers and equipment, including logic-card modules and oscilloscopes.

Yah, I can see the itemization now.
  • One Computer $2,000.00
  • One Oscilloscope $43,549.00
  • One Logic-Card Module Ummmm $400,000.00 Yeah, that's the ticket!

Re:exaggerated losses -- (5, Funny)

AtariDatacenter (31657) | more than 12 years ago | (#2346230)

One computer: $2,000
One oscilloscope: $43,549
Having your story linked to Slashdot: $PRICELESS

For some bankrupcies, there are severance checks. And for others, fivefingerdiscount.

Fivefingerdiscount. It's everything you want to have.

Unusual item for sale ... (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2346192)

Our company is currently in the process of a "merger" (yeah right - they're 20 times our size). There's only a few (3) of us who know that years ago we obtained a class B IP (no, I'm not going to say which one). If things go badly, we figure, we should be able to transfer that without anyone knowing. Shit, the company is so clueless, they don't even know they own it.

What's that worth?

Jeezuz... (2)

ryanvm (247662) | more than 12 years ago | (#2346197)

On the other hand, the fact that it's illegal to stiff your employees out of wages due them, even in a bankruptcy, isn't mentioned in the article...

You're right Michael - it's okay to steal and loot because some employers can't afford to make their payroll.

WTF are you thinking?

Re:Jeezuz... (5, Funny)

sql*kitten (1359) | more than 12 years ago | (#2346219)

You're right Michael - it's okay to steal and loot because some employers can't afford to make their payroll.

Uhh, CmdrTaco? Better keep an eye on Michael when Andover starts running out of cash...

Re:Jeezuz... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2346242)

damn, i had a good laugh from this comment

Re:Jeezuz... (1)

michael (4716) | more than 12 years ago | (#2346293)

Feh, I don't work on site... Stealing my "work" computer would be challenging since it's mine.

But yes, I have great sympathy for employees who are owed wages and take property in lieu of cash. I know many people who were paid in computing equipment, entirely legitimately, by failing dot-coms. And employees who are owed back pay get paid *first* in bankruptcy proceedings, so these people would be getting their wages anyway, only with a lot more hassle and paperwork.

For what it's worth, when VA laid people off earlier this year, they treated people decently, paid a decent severance, and didn't have (as far as I know) any sort of theft problem. Treat people decently, they'll treat you decently.

Thievery. (4, Interesting)

saintlupus (227599) | more than 12 years ago | (#2346207)

Well, if this "Akron-based company" treated their employees anything like my last employer [verizon.com] did, it's no surprise. We were told three months ahead of time that we were being laid off, and then security guards were stationed inside the building to watch us all the time.

Nothing quite like making your employees feel like criminals when it comes to making them want to steal things.

--saint

(I know, this is probably chock full o' poor grammar. I just got to work and I'm working on my first cup of coffee. Deal with it.)

Bankrupt Companies (2, Interesting)

timmy the large (223281) | more than 12 years ago | (#2346210)

My father had a VAR for Intergragh & Bently. when he ended up going bankrupt, because Bently changed there pricing retroactivley to a year back, he paid his employees and then gave stuff to some of them(and me) under the reasoning that it was all going to the bankrupcy court anyway.

Same thing happened a t a company I worked for about a year ago. The owner gave me a couple off nice office chairs, a computer desk, some monitors and a bunch of other stuff. They know people are giving it away as a kind of extra severance pay.

That's probably the main reason insurance companies won't pay for stuff.

Double standard (4, Insightful)

ZanshinWedge (193324) | more than 12 years ago | (#2346223)

Whenever an employer fucks up a pension plan, or terminates someone without good reason it's always "a shame". But whenever an employee walks away with a printer you can buy for 100 bucks on eBay after their severance package has been cancelled and their pay check bounced, it's "a criminal act".

Re:Double standard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2346302)

That's right. One's not illegal and one is. Boy, the /. crowd is getting smarter every day!

tchotchke (1)

mikosullivan (320993) | more than 12 years ago | (#2346226)

A variant of
chachka [dictionary.com] :


A cheap showy trinket.




A stapler is showy?

When I got laid off... (2, Informative)

ras_b (193300) | more than 12 years ago | (#2346238)

...I had an escort that walked with me from the final meeting to my desk, then watched as I packed up what was mine, and made sure that I didn't walk with anything expensive. I wouldn't have stolen anything anyway. But I still took advantage of the company's unfortunate situation. They had several foosball tables and were planning on moving to a smaller office after the layoffs. I was able to purchase a foos table off of them for a fraction of the real price, and it was in mint condition. If you are not a criminal and are not willing to steal the equipment, it doesn't hurt to ask if they will sell you what you want for cheap.

This is nothing new (1)

s4ltyd0g (452701) | more than 12 years ago | (#2346239)

This has been going on all along and not just with failed .coms

I worked for a company in Marocco where the same thing happened. The company basically just abandonned the employees who ended up leaving with servers, routers, the company truck, ...

Was it wrong? I suppose so but can you blame them?

Much ado about nothing (5, Insightful)

dillon_rinker (17944) | more than 12 years ago | (#2346240)

This article is misleading and sensationalistic.

The most common items stolen from tech companies by employees are laptops and handheld computers that cost less than $1,500 per item, asset managers say. But they are also seeing an increase in big-ticket theft.
The writer gives ZERO facts in support of this.

One anecdote cites someone who lifted $445,549 of equipment
The anecdote refers to a MOTOROLA (hardly a dot-bomb) employee. The employee used his "security clearance" to steal a lot of stuff; I'd infer that there were multiple thefts over time while still employed. Either that or Motorola is too stupid to disable employees' access cards when they fire them, or maybe their security guards let people cart out half a million dollars' worth of equipment whenever they feel like it.

The second largest number mentioned is $100,000...
somebody had cut a hole through the wall and stolen $100,000 worth of computers.
This is a flat-out case of robbery robbery. The writer carefully worded it to make it look to a casual reader like an ex-employee had stolen it but gives ZERO evidence for this proposition.

The only news here isn't news...laptops and PDAs walk off. If you call someone and say "Don't bother coming back," they'll take you at your word, even if they've got a company laptop at home.

Perhaps if (1)

loggia (309962) | more than 12 years ago | (#2346250)

Perhaps if companies valued their employees as much as their equipment they wouldn't have this problem...

I've been wrong all along... (4, Funny)

pongo000 (97357) | more than 12 years ago | (#2346259)

"They may have difficulty blaming themselves when they get laid off, so they direct their anguish at the company."


And all this time, I thought it was OK to blame someone else for getting laid off. Now I come to find it was actually my fault all along.


Guess I ought to give them back their laptop.

Don't wait around. (5, Funny)

AnalogBoy (51094) | more than 12 years ago | (#2346261)

You've been hired for your intelligence, use it. There are several ways to tell when its time to leave your company.

1) You work for a DSL Provider thats NOT a bell Leave now.

2) You see your company on FuckedCompany.com.

3) Your stock is delisted, OR your IPO Is "Indefinately put on hold".

4) Your company starts to buy metal folding chairs instead of Areons, saving ~$575.00/ea

5) You have to start *gasp* PAYING for your cokes.

6) You work for a dot-com with an unreasonable business model - I.E. Sending a $4 20 Lb bag of furball litter, overnight priority mail.

7) Your CEO's last job was "PC Technician"

8) Your company holds "Effective Resume Writing" classes or begins offering discounted copies of "Knock 'em Dead".

9) You see a copy of "7 Habits of highly unemployed people" laying on your bosses desk.

Theres more. But if you see any of the above, its a pretty good sign you need to move on.

Saw this so many times... (3, Interesting)

supabeast! (84658) | more than 12 years ago | (#2346266)

I worked at one of the massive web consulting shops, and watched it go from 10,000 to about 50 employees before I finally got the golden shitcan award in July. A list of things I saw people steal follows:

-Aeron Chairs
-Dell Servers
-Compaq Servers
-Dell desktops
-Cisco hubs and switches
-Sun desktops
-A pool table.
-Microsoft Natural Keyboards
-Speakers
-Electronic foot massagers (Really.)
-Books
-Any software package known to man
-Laptops
-DLT Cartridges
-Any SCSI equipment you could imagine.

I could probably make this list longer, but I doubt anyone wants to read it.

FiveFingerDiscount.com? (0, Offtopic)

totallygeek (263191) | more than 12 years ago | (#2346270)

I went there [fivefingerdiscount.com] , and there is just an "under construction" page.


Wanna Slashdot it?

Fault?!?! (2, Interesting)

icey5000 (461582) | more than 12 years ago | (#2346303)

"...Employees across the country are feeling disenfranchised. They may have difficulty blaming themselves when they get laid off, so they direct their anguish at the company."

Huh? Since I've never been in the 'executive chair' how exactly could it ever be my fault that I am being laid off? Its called being FIRED if I screw up. Seriously, this is passing the buck. It sounds like a consultant selling consolation to management and investors -- you f'd up but its someone else's fault.

Having played this game twice now, I think I have some experience -- first time gouged three weeks pay (I worked it, but never got paid). The second time I was given a 20% pay cut and told that I would still be expected to work overtime for free and then was laid off two weeks later anyway (no I never worked the overtime, I'm not that dumb). The second incident was very recently (last two weeks) and caused primarily because I work(ed) in the travel sector. My fault? I don't think so.

While I certainly don't advocate outright theft of large and expensive equipment. I have no trouble whatsoever understanding why people 'take stuff'. The investors and management never have a second thought about protecting their interests -- so why should you?

somebody I know did this, an "acquaintance" (2, Informative)

jbeamon (208826) | more than 12 years ago | (#2346306)

Somebody I know...barely... was working for a little dot-bomb in the making. They decided not to pay the last two weeks of work on time, and the last four weeks of expenses, while having their techs carpool 90 minutes daily to a customer site to continue working. When the paychecks didn't come in, two techs refused to drive until they got back expenses, having an empty gas tank and near-empty wallet. That message went through the bookkeeper to the pres and never got returned.

Over the next few days, rounds of email were sent requesting back expenses, requesting back pay, then requesting a simple reply. None were forthcoming. One of the techs finally postulated that if the pres couldn't reply, the tech couldn't work. If the tech couldn't be paid, he would accept the tools in his possession in leiu of a paycheck and move on to another job. The pres NEVER even answered. The whole thing just defaulted away.

I wouldn't guess how "legal" it was. Weeks of work without pay, weeks of expenses without reimbursement. A peaceable solution proposed by the employee and never answered by the boss. It was just ugly. No, "sad" is a better word. That money never did come in. Sucked to be those guys.

--
-j
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